Expectancy violations of the division of labor on marital satisfaction across the transition to parenthood

Elizabeth Leigh C Van Horn, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The current longitudinal study examines the effect of violated expectations related to the division of household and child-care labor on marital satisfaction across the transition to parenthood. The moderating effects of gender ideology on the relationship between violated expectations related to the division of child-care labor and marital satisfaction are also explored. Twenty-five married women completed questionnaires during their third trimester of pregnancy and again approximately three years after the birth of their first child. To determine if there was a significant decline in wives’ marital satisfaction following the transition to parenthood, a t-test was conducted comparing means for prenatal and postpartum reports of marital satisfaction. Hierarchical regression was used to test the remaining hypotheses regarding the effects of violated expectations of the postpartum division of household and child care labor (predictor variables) and gender ideology (moderator variable) on marital satisfaction (criterion variable). Collective and main effects were examined. As expected, results indicated a significant decline in marital satisfaction following the transition to parenthood. The results of this study also indicate that this decline may be predicted by deviations from prenatal expectations in regards to the division of child-care, but not household, labor. Lastly, this study did not find gender ideology to be a significant moderating variable on the relationship between deviations from expectations in relation to child-care labor and marital satisfaction. Clinical implications and recommendations for future research are discussed.^

Subject Area

Psychology, Counseling|Psychology, General|Psychology, Clinical|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

Elizabeth Leigh C Van Horn, "Expectancy violations of the division of labor on marital satisfaction across the transition to parenthood" (2010). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3418678.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3418678

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